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#83413 - 01/26/06 06:46 PM Re: Found in resource section
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Official site says this.

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#83414 - 01/28/06 04:16 AM Re: Found in resource section
Richard Gartner, PhD Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 404
Loc: New York, NY, USA
I am posting this for John Hardwicke, one of the claimants in the American Boychoir School suit:


In the early 1970s I attended the American Boychoir School and in 2001 I brought a lawsuit against the school because through the school’s negligence I was sexually abused by various staff members.

The situation at the school was really bad and uncounted numbers of students were molested over the course of several decades.

I hoped, when I came to school officials as an adult to talk with them about what had happened to me as a child that they would have embraced me and apologized and helped me and my classmates. I was amazed when they acted instead as though I was the enemy. I felt a bit like the child who came forward to a parent only to be rebuffed and told I was to blame. After a lot of thought, I decided to bring a lawsuit against the American Boychoir.

To my amazement, the school responded to my lawsuit by saying I was to blame – that I had not come forward at the time, that I had consented to sex with adult staff members, that they had no responsibility to protect me from sexual abuse. In fact, they brought a lawsuit against me when I put up a [ http://www.americanboyschoir.com ]website about abuse at the school.

Ultimately, the Boychoir claimed New Jersey’s charitable immunity law shielded them from lawsuits by sexually abused students. For five years, my lawyers have fought for my right to sue. Finally, earlier this month, because of the efforts of MaleSurvivor member Mark Crawford, the state’s governor signed a law that does away with charitable immunity in cases of child sex abuse.

The new law will enable my case to go forward. However, in the meanwhile I imagine the school will fight the new law by claiming it is unconstitutional or somehow claim it doesn’t apply to them or find some technicality to further delay justice.

As frustrating as this is, it’s ok. No matter how many years go by, justice and truth will ultimately prevail.

From the 37th Psalm

“Do not be angry because of the wrongdoers, or have envy of the workers of evil. For they will quickly be cut down like grass, and become dry like the green plants. Have faith in the Lord, and do good; be at rest in the land, and go after righteousness…For in a short time the evil-doer will be gone: you will go searching for his place, and it will not be there…The evil-doers have taken out their swords, their bows are bent; for crushing the poor, and to put to death those who are upright in their ways. But their swords will be turned into their hearts, and their bows will be broken…”

I want to thank you all for your support through this difficult time and I pray for peace and healing for each and every one of us.

john hardwicke

_________________________
www.richardgartner.com

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#83415 - 01/28/06 05:17 AM Re: Found in resource section
NJadvocate Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/06
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey
A bit of clarification on the new amended version of Charitable Immunity. This law is FULLY RETROACTIVE...there is no more immunity granted any non-profit or charity in New Jersey in cases involving the sexual molestation of a child. That said..New Jersey survivors still have one potential obstacle. The statute of limitations..it is still 2 years after one turns 18. HOWEVER, in 1992 NJ enactedd the Child Sex Abuse Act which now recognizes repressed memory and delayed discovery, so for a victim who has just come to make the connection between his/her abuse and its damaging effects. That statute of limitations begins to run at that point for 2 years. So a survivor of abuse 2 years ago or 80 years ago may have access to justice in New Jersey.

For those who may be interested in viewing the actual Assembly debate on this bill. You can go to the NJ legislature website and click on "view or listen to archived proceeding". Then make sure you click on 2004 - 2005 Legislative session..since a new one just started earlier this month. In the center column click on the link for Assembly...then go to the December 12, 2005 Assembly voting session. Once the video begins you can slide the toggle switch on your meddia player to 3 hours and 57 minutes into the proceeding and the debate on bill A2512 can be viewed and listened to. I will try and attach the link in another post.

Trish, yes there were 5 Assembly members who not only voted against it 4 of them spoke at length urging others not to support it. Obviously their rediculous arguments were ignored.

Those who opposed the bill were Assemblymen John Gibson, Republican Dist 1 Ocean City, NJ...Joseph Cryan, Democrat Dist 20, Union.....Michael Patrick Carroll, and Richard Merkt both Republicans from the 25 Dist...Mendham, Morristown, Randolph area and John F McKeon Democrat 27 dist, Caldwell, livingston and the Oranges. Feel free to write and call thier offices and tell them how wrong they were to oppose this legislation. I will post thier contact info if anybody wants it.

Regrds, Mark


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#83416 - 01/28/06 05:30 AM Re: Found in resource section
NJadvocate Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/06
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey
Below is an Op-Ed piece which ran in the Daily Record Newspaper in NJ on January 1, 06. The paper also ran an opposing view written by Assemblyman Carroll (Rep. Mendham, Morristown) who basically said this bill should not be passed because it would force charities to cut back on services thus hurting those who should be benifiting from their services. Below is my response.

PUT OUR CHILDREN FIRST

On Monday, December 12, 2005 The New Jersey Assembly finally acted to clarify this states Charitable Immunity Act, making New Jersey a safer place for our children. I would like to thank Speaker Albio Sires and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Roberts for posting and supporting bill S540/A2512, Senator Joseph Vitale and Assemblyman Neil Cohen for their endless pursuit of justice and for the overwhelming majority of Assembly members who voted to pass this bill. The legislature has made a clear statement, charitable immunity laws passed in 1958 were never meant to enable institutions to become safe havens for sexual predators.

Only five members of the assembly failed to put our children first and voted against the bill. These members are clearly out of step with their colleagues and their constituents who expect New Jersey’s laws to protect children from sexual abuse. Though these Assemblymen spoke about their sympathy for “victims of horrendous crimes,” actions speak louder than words. What bills have they introduced to protect those who were the victims of these institutions? What action have they taken to hold those who perpetrated such institutional abuse, accountable?

Assemblyman Carroll asserted that charities could not be held accountable because they are “legal fictions which only exist in our minds,” and concluded “you cannot punish that which does not exist”. Tell that to the countless victims who were betrayed by these institutions which gave free reign to child molesters.

Of course charitable organizations exist. We see examples of their good works everywhere; responsible charities serve the public interest well. But these institutions should not be held to a lower standard than we expect from the rest of society. The horrific dark chapters of the Catholic Clergy Abuse Scandal and the countless victims of the prestigious American Boy Choir School (the only 2 charities to oppose this bill) are just two examples of why New Jersey must act to protect its children. Good works can not excuse organizations from negligence when they have quietly moved known sexual predators about our communities or have “looked the other way” enabling the sexual molestation of our children.

Abused children suffer life long consequences: shame, guilt, depression, addictions and sexual dysfunction are just a few. Some, unable to cope with the shame and betrayal have taken their own lives. Our lawmakers have no more fundamental duty than to protect our children who are the most
vulnerable of our society. Yet, these 5 lawmakers have chosen to protect the very institutions which have betrayed those entrusted to their care.

During debate on the bill, Assemblyman Cryan said “like it or not, the Church acted within the law at the time.” But Mr. Cryan got it dead wrong. When was it ever lawful to sexually molest a minor? Like it or not, Mr. Cryan, the assembly made it clear (without your vote) – New Jersey’s law was never intended to protect charitable organizations which enabled and protected child sex abusers.

Assemblyman Merkt opposed this legislation because it would be applied retroactively. In 1992, recognizing that the sexual molestation of a child is such a horrific crime, our state legislature enacted the Child Sex Abuse Act. Acknowledging that child victims of sexual abuse will often not recognize the connection between their abuse and the harm that was done, this law set the precedent for retroactively ensuring rights to victims of child sexual abuse. Why reverse this standard? Although our Constitution will not permit the application of criminal law retroactively it has always allowed civil law to be applied in this manner.

On the same day the legislature voted to amend Charitable Immunity, the Assembly unanimously granted rights of recovery to people whose pets have been harmed. It is shameful that these 5 Assemblymen, voted against granting the same legal protections to child sex abuse victims as they had, just minutes earlier, for pet owners. What were they thinking?

For too many years New Jersey has been a safe haven for organizations that harbor pedophiles. It is good to see our lawmakers restore justice and fix the law. When Governor Codey signs this bill it will effectively end charitable immunity as a pedophile protection policy and New Jersey will be a safer place for our children.


Mark Crawford
Clergy abuse Survivor,
Director, http://www.FixTheLaw.org


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#83417 - 01/28/06 05:38 AM Re: Found in resource section
NJadvocate Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/06
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey
Here is the link for those who may want to listen or view the archived proceedings..after going to this link...go to Decemeber 12, 2005 and to the far right click on view. Once the video/audio starts go to 3 hours 57 minutes into the proceeding to begin listening to the debate on bill S540/A 2512.

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/archive_audio2.asp?KEY=A&SESSION=2004

Mark


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#83418 - 01/28/06 10:25 AM Re: Found in resource section
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Disclaimer.

I try to not post links unless I have fully understood the implications of the links I post.

I found this in archive, and I was appauled at the lack of judgement on those who run this school.

I went on the official site, and I read the crap about how safe the school is.
Maybe it is safe, but the crux is, that as I understand it, they have a history of denial of past events at the school.

I can only view events from my own perspective, so I know no other.

I view things from an abused boys mind, where he thought that he was the only one abused in his school, if that was tough, imagine what it would feel like to be one of many.

It would have put into my mind feelings of, believing that this was the way to treat others.

I would have thought through formative years, that this is how men and boys bond.
It is frightening to think what I really would have thought, but my abuse was isolated, theirs were compounded by the trap of being at school.

I cannot comprehend the social consequences of institutes that are allowed to keep operating in the manner in which they have shown.

It is to my mind that the very people who ran the school were complicit to all that went on.
They turn it around and blame the kids, 'victims'.

If anybody told me that my abuse was my fault, they would not be here very long, yes, but I would just have hid in my corner and cried.

I wonder whether the public really know what CSA to a boy really does?

Could they ever perceive the long term effect on boys, or do they think boys dont get hurt?

It is up to us all to try and limit the hurt, as the public seem to equally forget our plight, but we never can, so fight it,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#83419 - 01/28/06 10:36 AM Re: Found in resource section
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
NJa,

that was a cool link, but you cannot save the video footage.

thanks,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

Top
#83420 - 01/28/06 10:54 AM Re: Found in resource section
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Richard,

you posted this little bit,

"I hoped, when I came to school officials as an adult to talk with them about what had happened to me as a child that they would have embraced me and apologized and helped me and my classmates. I was amazed when they acted instead as though I was the enemy. I felt a bit like the child who came forward to a parent only to be rebuffed and told I was to blame".

I drove a truck to my old school delivering vegetables.

I hid from teachers but was spotted, they took me into their office and said, why did you set your sights so low in life?

When I left that school, teachers said that I would be a high achiever, but sadly my mind got trashed by past events.

For yourself to be blamed for being abused is absolutely impossible for me to fathom, especially as you are a brilliant man.

The problem that I have in life is this, and it is my largest problem.
I find myself digging in the ground, I use my own logic which is pretty good.

Why is my logic so good?
Because my boy mind untainted is seeing the World as it really is.
If somebody says to me, Oh, that never happened!
When I know that it did.
They are saying that I got it wrong, but I rarely get it wrong.

I can take in the whole picture and display it like no other with all the facts, but still they deny me that.

This is why I feel cornered in my own World, devoid of natural emotions to outside approach,he is hurt, but he can fight, and he will,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#83421 - 01/28/06 05:23 PM Re: Found in resource section
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I would like to say a special word to John Hardwicke and Mark Crawford.

John,

I am so sorry that you had to go through that abuse and then have it thrown back in your face as if it was all your fault. And then you are sued as well? Clearly this is all a tactic of intimidation and that just makes it all worse. I applaud your courage and determination and I am sure you will prevail.

Mark,

Thanks for taking up the challenge here. The idea that a charity is not required to operate within the law is beyond absurdity, and I am so glad you were able to prevail. You have served the cause of justice for so many wronged and ravaged boys.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#83422 - 01/28/06 06:33 PM Re: Found in resource section
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Sorry that I got it wrong about the original poster being Richard when it was not.

My apologies and I echo Larrys, reply,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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